Our first dinner in Nepal was in Bhaktapur, overlooking Taumadhi Square at a cafe called Cafe Nyatapola. As we looked down on the square below us, we saw daily life, heard music and it was just pure joy. We decided to order two meals to share. We later found that it was so much food, we should have ordered just one. We tried a yoghurt lassi (lightly salted), a spring vegetable curry, spicy fried paneer and mixed dal. The flavors were intense and the food was amazing. I only wish I had 4 stomachs like a cow, so that I could have consumed it all!
Day 2 in Nepal we ate lunch at the museum in Patan. Our home stay host recommended it as well as a tour guide at a nearby temple. This was a great suggestion! Having learned the day before that the portion sizes are huge, we ordered one meal to share. It was perfect! We started with a traditional Kwati, a lentil and bean soup. It was just a tad spicy, but had amazing flavor. Then we had as our main course, a traditional Nepali Thali. This meal came out and there was rice in the middle and various types of pickle and vegetable around it. Plus it came with two bowls of sauces. We weren't 100% sure how was was expected to eat it. We asked our waiter and he showed us. First one mixes the rice in the middle with the two sauces. Then one serves rice mixture with a bit of one of the pickles (there were three varieties. Finally one eats the other vegetables on the side. He even served us some after we learned how to eat it. Once he learned that we really liked the mango pickle best, he brought us more. It was delicious! We neared the end of our meal and decided to order dessert. We had maybe a spoonful or so of rice left and our waiter came over and served each of us the remaining bits and told us to finish it up! Then we ordered dessert, Sikarni, which is a curd with cinnamon. It can be best summed up as "yoghurt apple pie". The entire lunch was amazing. If you are ever in Patan, eat at the cafe in the museum in Durbar Square. You will not be disappointed.
Day 3 found us eating dinner again in Bhaktapur again. This time, on the recommendation of a storekeeper, we ate at Sunny Cafe. This rooftop cafe also overlooked the Pottery Square and provided a nice respite from the hectic buzz of the city below. Again we shared several items. We opted for Vegetable MoMo, which is basically a Nepalese dumpling that is dipped in a sauce. Along with the MoMo we ate Vegetable Pakura, a fried vegetable patty and a plate of traditional Newari food. The Newari food included Wo, Chatamari, Aalu Tarkari and Juju Dhau. The Newar make up 6% of the population in the Kathmandu Valley. Of course, we did not know what to expect from the Newari food, but basically it was: a rice pancake, a bread like spicy pancake, a vegetable curry and sweet buffalo yoghurt. Along side our meal, we also shared an Apple Lassi to drink. This meal was good, but so far it's our least favorite of the bunch. Also this was the first cafe we've eaten in, where everyone was a foreigner, no Nepalese were eating there. It was missing that Nepalese kick!
On day 4 before dinner we went to cafe Beyond for Masala Tea. Beyond Nepal is a non-profit NGO that was established in 2009. They look for a variety of ways to support the local community, and one part is with their cafe. We drank a tea and tried some of their homemade Lapsi candy. We also ended up buying boxes of the Lapsi candy and would have bought some of the tea if they had sold it. It was an amazing cup of tea for a good cause!
On day 4, we wanted to return to Cafe Nyatapola, but they were closing - so we took their recommendation and went to a restaurant called Namaste. Again we searched the menu looking for traditional foods to share, looking for new foods to try. We settled on Vegetable Thukpa, Mushroom Curry with rice and Tibetan bread. Thukpa is a noodle soup. The soup was amazing and we considered ordering a second bowl. The mushroom curry was good, but lacked a lot of the flavors we have come to associate with Nepalese foods. The Tibetan bread could best be described as Nepalese Sopapillas. We ate it with a delicious local honey - the flavor was immense. It was a good meal, but we still think the first meal was the best.
Our fifth and final day in Nepal we actually ate two meals other than breakfast. This was a first for us, as up until now we'd been eating breakfast and one large meal each day. Our first meal, or lunch as we will refer to it, was at a restaurant in Kathmandu called: Nanglo. This was on the recommendation of our homestay host, and we were told to try the MoMos there. Well they didn't serve MoMos until after 5pm, but we still had a great meal. We ate Tarkari, a vegetable curry, Daal, Palu Aloo (spicy potatoes) and a salted Lassi to drink. The food was flavorful and spicy. We really enjoyed it! Plus at the end, we finished with an excellent cup of coffee.
About 3 hours later, we had "dinner". We met up with a friend of Tammy's from her college days, Mac. He took us to his favorite restaurant in Kathmandu, Roadhouse Cafe. We learned this was his third time to eat there in as many days! Upon Mac's recommendation we ordered the most western food we've had during our entire stay in Nepal, a pizza. We ordered a four cheese pizza, which included Yak Cheese as a topping. To round out our meal, we enjoyed Nepalese beer, Gorkha. The bottles were huge -- 650ml. The pizza was good, the company was great and the setting was beautiful. It was a perfect last evening meal in Nepal.
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